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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, September 12, 2022

September 12, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Judge Dearie. Photo: Sam Newhouse/Brooklyn Daily Eagle

RETIRED BROOKLYN FEDERAL JUDGE IS TRUMP’S REQUEST AS SPECIAL MASTER: The Hon. Raymond J. Dearie, who retired last month from the bench of  the U.S. District Court-Eastern District in Brooklyn, is one of two candidates whom former President Donald Trump is requesting to be the Special Master to review and evaluate all materials that the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate. Dearie, whom then-President Ronald Reagan had appointed Judge Dearie in 1986 to a newly-created seat, served as Chief Judge from 2007-2011.

Judge Dearie also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, formerly the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

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DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

POLICE INVESTIGATE EARLY-MORNING DEATHS OF CHILDREN AT BEACH: Police are at this hour investigating the deaths of three children who were found unconscious on Coney Island beach, early this morning, according to several news reports. A 3-month-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and a year-old boy, now believed to have been drowned, were discovered unconscious on the beach near the shoreline at W. 35th St. following a call to 9/11 from a worried family member.

Police suspect the children’s the mother, who was later found appearing drunk and mentally-disturbed.

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DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, FDNY’S BATALLION 57 TAKE PART IN ANNUAL 9/11 MASS: Commemorating the 21st anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Brooklyn Diocesan Bishop Robert Brennan this morning joined members of the FDNY’s Battalion 57 in Brooklyn for a procession from Lower Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. Bishop Brennan met the marchers as they entered Brooklyn; following the procession, he presided at the 11 a.m. commemorative Mass, which began with recitation of the names the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. Video footage of the event is available, here.

Bishop Brennan said during his homily, “That day saw the worst of humanity in those attacks, but you know what, it saw also the greatness of humanity, in the men and women who responded so courageously, and so generously, many of your companions, many of your coworkers, collaborators, colleagues, and many who were in these places before you. We saw the goodness and the bravery, the courage of people.”

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FIREFIGHTER COMMUNITY GATHERS FOR 9/11 MEMORIAL MASS IN WILLIAMSBURG: More than 200 members of the New York City Fire Department took part in yesterday’s 9/11 Memorial Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation parish in Williamsburg, with family members of Daniel Shear, a firefighter from Williamsburg who lost his life in September 11, 2001. Shear’s wife, Nancy; and daughter, Briana, have attended every year.

Front left: Deacon Michael Chiricella, Firefighter Daniel Shear’s widow Nancy and daughter Briana, and Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the church’s pastor, stand with FDNY firefighters at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation Church Photo courtesy of Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello

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DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN CELEBRATES THE MINISTRY OF ST. PETER CLAVER CHURCH: The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, led a special Mass in honor of the Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, and of  the 101st anniversary of St. Peter Claver Church’s founding. Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn, currently under consideration for sainthood for his efforts to establish racial equality, founded this first African American Church (Bedford Stuyvesant) in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The Knights and Ladies Auxiliary of Saint Peter Claver (pictured below) work to promote civic and social justice, award scholarships, and nurture youth and family relationships.

The Knights and Ladies Auxiliary of St. Peter Claver
Photo courtesy of DeSales Media

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BROOKLYN CONGRESS MEMBER HOLDS RALLY TO OPPOSE CONGESTION PRICING: U.S. Rep Nicole Malliotakis (R-11th District/Southern Brooklyn) will join a bipartisan coalition of city and state elected officials on Monday morning to urge Governor Hochul to withdraw her support of the MTA’s Manhattan Central Business District Tolling Plan. Among those joining her will be Brooklyn City Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-44th District) who serves Borough Park, Midwood, Ocean Parkway and parts of Bensonhurst).

Standing on the City Hall steps, Rep. Malliotakis will renew her calls for the MTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to extend the public comment period on the Environmental Assessment (EA) to 60 days, and push for complete, thorough, and transparent economic and environmental impact studies to be conducted.

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ALLEGED HEAD OF BRIGHTON BEACH CRIME SYNDICATE EXTRADITED BACK TO U.S.: Viktor Zelinger, also known as “Vitya” and “Vityok,” the alleged leader of an Eastern European organized crime syndicate that operated in the Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island neighborhoods, was extradited late Friday from Switzerland to the United States on a nine-count superseding indictment. The defendant, who was linked to high-level Russian mafia members known as “Thieves in Law” or “Thieves,” is charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, arson, arson conspiracy, illegal gambling, illegal gambling conspiracy, extortionate collection of credit and two counts of extortionate collection of credit conspiracy.

 Zelinger, a naturalized U.S. citizen with dual Ukrainian citizenship, is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo.

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VICTORY ON MERCHANT CATEGORY CODES FOR GUN SALES: Credit card companies are now required to create a Merchant Category Code for gun and ammunition purchases, after a ruling from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Attorney General Letitia James who, with her counterpart in California had sent letters to the major credit card companies last week, applauded the ISO’s decision, calling it “a big victory that will help us better address gun violence and avoid tragedies. Labeling gun and ammunition sales is a responsible, common-sense way to help protect Americans and I thank Amalgamated Bank for their bold leadership on this critical issue.”

Attorney General James also urged the credit card companies to go further, flagging suspicious transactions on gun and ammunition sales, in the same way they do for fraud and money laundering.

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COMPTROLLER, OTHER OFFICIALS PRAISE ISO RULING ON MERCHANT CATEGORY CODES: Likewise, City Comptroller Brad Lander, State Senator Zellnor Myrie and other elected officials applauded the ISO’s decision. Said Lander, “Stopping the scourge of gun violence will take action on the part of everyone, and I’m pleased that the ISO voted to advance a key step to prevent the next tragedy. American Express, Mastercard, Visa and other credit card companies now have a responsibility to implement the new merchant category code, so that financial institutions can do their part to flag suspicious activity and save lives.”

Last week, Comptroller Lander and trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System filed shareholder resolutions at Mastercard and American Express requesting transparency around the companies’ decision-making relating to the creation of the merchant category code and sent a letter alongside the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to American Express, Mastercard and Visa.

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SEPTEMBER 11 PROCESSION ON THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE: The Diocese of Brooklyn and the New York City Fire Department on Sunday was scheduled as of press time on Friday to lead a procession over the Brooklyn Bridge and to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Prospect Heights, in commemoration of the lives lost in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, planned to meet the marchers on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, and then proceed with them to the Co-Cathedral on Pacific St., where he was the main celebrant and homilist at a Mass dedicated to the FDNY.

Battalion 57, consisting of several fire stations and multiple fire companies including four Battalion Chiefs, Engine Companies 217, 219, 230, and 235, as well as Ladder Companies 102 and 105 in Brooklyn were to lead the procession carrying 25 flags — including the American flag, to represent the members of Battalion 57 who were lost at the World Trade Center, a Battalion member’s brother who also died that day.

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FORMER CITY WORK CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBERY, TAX EVASION: A former contractor for the New York City Water Board who was responsible for providing sewer and water pipe repair services to homeowners in Brooklyn and other boroughs pleaded guilty to bribery earlier today in Brooklyn federal court. The defendant, George Djurasevic, admitted that he accepted more than half-a-million dollars in bribe payments — in violation of the Travel Act — in his role as a company manager; and he also pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo presided over today’s guilty plea. When sentenced, Djurasevic faces a total of 10 years in prison.

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NEW ORAL RABIES VACCINE FOR RACCOONS: The City Health Department, NYC Parks and federal and academic partners, are launching an effort to vaccinate raccoons against rabies in New York City. Starting this Monday, September 12 through October, wildlife biologists with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will distribute individual baits containing an oral rabies vaccine, using bait stations or hand tossing, in wooded areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The small, brown colored baits are fish-scented, a scent to which raccoons are attracted, and resemble a ketchup packet which conceals a small amount of pink, liquid vaccine.

The bait is not harmful to pets and cannot cause rabies, but it can cause vomiting if several baits are consumed. If pets find the bait, do not try to confiscate it from them, to avoid being bitten and exposed to the vaccine.

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STATE LAUNCHES NEW SUICIDE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN: A new digital public service campaign and other statewide initiatives will raise awareness of suicide prevention efforts and the mental health resources available to all New Yorkers, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced. The digital campaign, running through November, will feature ads promoting these services on many social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, informing them of available suicide prevention resources and crisis services throughout New York.

The governor also issued a proclamation in advance of Suicide Prevention Day, and recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Month, marking both by illuminating state buildings and landmarks in purple and teal for two days starting September 9. 

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TONY’S EXPRESS ROLLERCOASTER LAUNCHES AT LUNA PARK: Coney Island’s iconic Luna Park today holds the soft opening of its newest roller coaster, Tony’s Express. This brand-new family-friendly ride is Luna Park’s eighth roller coaster, perfect for all ages to experience, and features thrilling bends and curves around the upcoming bespoke log flume, Leti’s Treasure, at more than 30 mph with more than 1200 exhilarating feet of track.

Guests who purchase the Extraordinary Wristband will have unlimited access to Luna Park in Coney Island rides including Tony’s Express.

Coney Island Luna Park’s newest rollercoaster
Photo courtesy of Luna Park/Coney Island
The rollercoaster as viewed after dusk. Photo courtesy of Luna Park/Coney Island

 

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PUBLIC ADVOCATE URGES CITY TO ADOPT HYBRID WORK MODELS: As the city sees historic vacancy rates in the municipal workforce, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams pushed the current mayoral administration to adopt hybrid work models wherever possible for city employees. Williams emphasized during testimony to the City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor  that adapting workforce policies to embrace, rather than reject, hybrid work would improve employee retention and help to attract top talent to the city at a time when such recruitment is critical.

Last month, the Public Advocate published an op-ed in the Daily News in which he argued that “By continuing to move ahead with a pre-pandemic idea of employment, ignoring the new workplace reality, this administration is ultimately helping to empty desks across the city’s workforce…”

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HEIGHTS ILLUSTRATOR’S BOOK MAKES LIBRARY’S ‘125 ESSENTIAL’ LIST: Brooklyn Heights’ own children’s book illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg’s classic children’s book Mermaids on Parade made the list of BPL’s 125 “Essential Brooklyn Books,” in commemoration of the Brooklyn Public Library’s 125th anniversary. The book is based on a beloved annual Coney Island tradition, the Mermaid Parade, usually held in June.

Among other classic and contemporary authors and books about Brooklyn making the list are Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen”, legendary Eagle editor Walt Whitman’s “Leave of Grass”, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, “Sunset Park: A Novel” by Paul Auster, “How Emily Saved The Bridge” by Frieda Wishinsky, and “Birding at the Bridge” by Heather Wolf, a current Brooklyn Eagle columnist.

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WELCOMING WEEK AND LANGUAGE FESTIVAL: Brooklyn Public Library and Apple Bank Celebrate Welcoming Week with the Seventh Annual World Language Festival, a series of free programs bringing together ethnically diverse organizations and communities. Among the offerings are MocaCreates (this Monday, September 12, at the New Utrecht Library, where participants can join the Museum of Chinese in America to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Harvest Moon festival and create a festive craft to take home; and a Fiesta with Flor on Wednesday, September 14 at the Mapleton Library, a multicultural musical celebration with singer, songwriter and storyteller Flor Bromley.

A highlight of the World Language Festival will be a Community Cooking demonstration on Saturday, September 17, at the Greenpoint Library, with Emma’s Torch, a non-profit organization that empowers refugees through providing paid culinary training, professional development and English language skills. Emma’s Torch alumnus, Jahck Diack, will share his recipe for Yassa, a dish from his home country of Senegal.

The Kosciuszko Bridge, which links the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek, was lit purple Thursday night, along with several other New York State landmarks, to memorialize Queen Elizabeth II. She died on Thursday, September 8, after seven decades as Great Britain’s sovereign.
Photo: Governor Kathy Hochul

 

 


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